Burns to anchor Irish defence as players bid to impress scouts
Liam Burns is set to anchor Ireland’s defence in this morning’s opening game of the Fifpro Tournament in Oslo, where Pat Scully’s side will face hosts Norway for a place in this afternoon’s final against either Sweden or Finland.
The veteran centre-back is on course to feature alongside Shane Tracy, Stephen Maher and Niall O’Reilly for the latest Irish side to feature in the players’ union-backed event, which is intended to provide out-of-contract players from the participating countries, all of which have summer leagues, with an opportunity to impress scouts from around northern Europe.
Tracy sat out part of yesterday’s training session after taking a knock but Scully said that he expects the 24-year-old full-back, like the rest of his squad, to be fit and available for selection.
Several of the Irish players have attracted some advance interest, with former Drogheda United player Sami Ristilä among the coaches to have travelled to watch former Longford Town midfielder Craig Walsh, while another former Shamrock Rovers player, Tadhg Purcell, is expected to be watched by a number of clubs.
“Obviously it would be nice if we were to win the tournament,” said Scully.
“But I think the important thing is that we are professional, produce a couple of performances and ensure that a few of the lads show what they can do.”